Saturday Night Concert

‘Big Leg Emma’ promises
a high energy show for
Chautauqua visitors

The band hails from western New York state

(September 2013) – While the band, Big Leg Emma, may have a long trip to get to Madison, Ind., the group knows that when they arrive they will feel right at home. After a spring performance at the Historic Broadway Hotel and Tavern, the band was invited back to play during the Madison Chautauqua weekend as the featured performer of “Music in the Park.” The event is set for 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Broadway Fountain and is co-sponsored by the Chautauqua Committee and the Madison Main Street Program as the conclusion of the summer-long concert series.

Music in the Park

• Featuring Big Leg Emma, 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Broadway Fountain. “Opening Act” to perform at 6:30 p.m. Free.

“We love this area of the country,” said electric guitarist and vocalist Kev Rowe. “The small town community and the warmth that comes from within it definitely remind us of our hometown, Jamestown, N.Y., which is kind of a rural area of the country also. We tell people we’re from New York and they automatically assume New York City. But we’re from western New York, which is upstate New York and very different than city living. We have a very active original music scene with a rootsy feel to it, with lots of folk, bluegrass and Americana music.”
Chautauqua coordinator Georgie Kelly and entertainment coordinators Allison Hall and Jenny Youngblood were on the lookout for a new group to include as part of the festival weekend, and when they saw Big Leg Emma’s spring show, they knew that they had found an act that would help provide the atmosphere they strive to create. “We all three liked their sound and thought it appropriate for Madison and Chautauqua,” Kelly explains.
Audience members are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets, though shoes that are comfortable for dancing are a good idea as well. The band “Opening Act,” featuring local musicians Ryan Nix and Whitney Wyatt, will perform at 6:30 p.m., followed by Big Leg Emma at 7 p.m.
Steve Johnson (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar) explains that the members of Big Leg Emma came together “just by chance. We grew up in a small little country area” with a strong musical tradition that includes being the home of 10,000 Maniacs. The group started off in 2001 with Johnson and Charity Nuse (vocals, percussion and mandolin), and later added Rowe, Corey Kurtzie, (percussion) and John Neidrauer (bass guitar).
Rowe says, “What makes us all fit together is our dedication to the music and mutual discipline of being a focused, unified, working band on the road. It is very much a family affair with plenty of love and support for each other, but we are also a very organized business unit as well.”
Johnson said the band’s “original drummer was a huge Frank Zappa fan” and the group’s name comes from one of Zappa’s old songs. “We wanted something easy, something that sticks.”
“We love having kids on stage,” he says enthusiastically, and notes that their fans range from “hippies to yuppies.”

• For more information on the band, visit their website: www.BigLegEmma.com.


Madison Chautauqua Archived Articles
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